Accreditation Standards

Accreditation is a process of validation in which colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning are evaluated. The Cato College of Education programs are currently accredited using CAEP standards.  A list of UNC Charlotte approved programs from our visit is available here

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte was reviewed by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) in fall 2020. Full accreditation status was awarded to all College of Education programs, with no Areas of Improvement or Stipulations noted. Our next accreditation visit will be in fall 2027. 

CAEP - Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

The CAEP Standards for Initial Programs and their components flow from two principles:

  • Solid evidence that the provider’s graduates are competent and caring educators, and
  • There must be solid evidence that the provider’s educator staff have the capacity to create a culture of evidence and use it to maintain and enhance the quality of the professional programs they offer.

The five CAEP Standards flow from these principles and the standards of evidence that define them are the backbone of the accreditation process. They define quality in terms of organizational performance and serve as the basis for accreditation reviews and judgments.

CAEP Standards for Advanced Programs | The CAEP Board of Directors adopted revised standards for advanced-level programs. Learn more about standards for advanced-level preparation programs here


CACREP - Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Education Programs

In addition to the main accreditations, the Department of Counseling is also accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.  This is a specialized accreditation, which is different than the institutional accreditation, in that CACREP looks at counseling's professional preparation programs within the College of Education.  CACREP is a counseling graduate degree-specific accrediation, and there are additional standards for this accreditation.

The Department of Counseling is currently accredited using these CACREP Standards.  


Art Education (K-12) is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Arts & Design

Music Education (K-12) is accredited by National Association of Schools of Music 

Dance Education (K-12) is accredited by National Association of Schools of Dance 

Theatre Education (K-12) is in the process of being accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre